**note: I clicked on the images and was almost horrified at what I saw. I appears that perhaps these eggy things are being 'covered' as if they had just been deposited. Now I must check the remaining images not used in this post for more clues.
These nymphs seem to be tending these eggs. Perhaps they are eating them, or cultivating them, in a bizarro-symbiotic way...raise them to a certain age, and then, when ripe, they are consumed like a delicious fruit. Perhaps they allow a certain amount to hatch and live to further the species, and providing sustanence for later or the following year.
The adults, after leaving the winged seed pod, have moved to other seed pods on the same branch. They have now separated from each other and seem to be happily doing their thing on the tree. Note: Another thing noticed this particular year, every winged seed pod on this tree has the same brown scarring on them. This was not present last year, nor are the other Viney Maples showing the same scarring...yet. It may be possible, or probable, that this is related to these little varmits.
Now, I have been here year after year after year, too. Why is it, that I have never noticed them before this? I noticed these guys immediately when I stood by the tree. Was it just my vantage point at that particular moment? It is not often that a new species comes to me (of course, some of you will remeber our European Pine SawFly attack earlier this year, an infestation that if we had not noticed it when we did, would have cost us our entire set of Mugo Pines, leaving only tufts at the top of our beautiful trees). I hadn't noticed them before either, though I have to admit that when I saw the winged SawFly adult version that hatches (from the larvae that we eradicated just prior to its seeking the soil under the tree for underground pupation), I did indeed recognize their frilly antennae from the prior year's summer. But I will never forget them now.
Once again, these are new. As soon as we discover their latin name and common names, I will research them and then more than likely eradicate them. Until then...taking pictures and learning is the way for me to understand their necessitiy for life. But life is short, and the tree will inevitably become short, once the leaves are all off and gone. The seed pods have always hung long after the leaves fall, seemingly created to blow away by the winter storms, finding new fresh soil from which to tap their roots into. This tree, in particular, is about to be hard pruned, everything stripped off and discarded, uhhh, after beign sprayed with pyrithium or Safer, depending upon what I learn about them.
It also depends on you (reading this blog) and what you might know about these tiny critters. If you recognize them or think you know someone that might know about them, please leave a comment in the comment area of this post, and I will happliy wiki them, or even use my feet to go to the library if necessary...